Useful Information
Grapes & Products


The grape is the fruit of the vine. The type of vine used to produce wine grapes are Vitis Vinifera, which belongs to the European subgenus Euvitis of the genus Vitis.

The main products of the grape are:
◦ Grape
◦ Grape Distillate

The secondary products of the grape are:
◦ Digestives and secondary products
◦ Alcohol, derivatives
◦ Vinegar etc.

The main components of the grape are:

1. Sugars, mainly glucose and fructose, which, are converted by yeast into alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2) during fermentation

2. Acids (mainly tartaric) which are also responsible for the sour taste of wine.

3. Phenols such as tannins and anthocyanins. The first is responsible for the astringent taste of red wines, while the second is responsible for its color.

4. Aromatic compounds account for some of the aromas of wine. This explains how a wine smells of fruit or flowers without the addition of any foreign aromatic component.

Alcoholic Fermentation
During the fermentation process, the yeasts that live on the outer hull of the grape, convert sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2), making the grape wine. How, though, in practice?

There are basically two kinds of wine, white and red, while all others (rose, sweet, sparkling) are variations of these. Specifically:

WHITE WINE
The grapes are gathered and pressed to extract the juice (must). The juice is transferred to a tank where it is allowed to stand for 12 hours so that the grape solids clear to the sediment. Then the clear part without the sediment is transferred to another tank where it will be allowed to ferment.  During fermentation, the sugars are converted to alcohol, various aromatic compounds and carbon dioxide etc.

At the end of fermentation, the tank is sealed. Sulphite (an antimicrobial and antioxidant absolutely necessary to protect the wine from the acidic bacteria) and oxygen are added and allowed to clarify. After some time the wine is decanted, filtered and bottled. In this way the white, fresh wines are produced, which are best drunk within the year of manufacture and at 10-12oC.

RED WINE
If you get a grape and cut it in half, we will see that only the skin is red, while the flesh is an orange color. Therefore, if the red grape were pressed directly (as the white grape), this would result in colorless or at the very least to an orange grape juice from which one cannot produce red wine. For this reason, the stems are removed from the grapes, and the crushed grapes/juice is then sent to the tank and daily shaken vigorously to get the greatest amount of color from the skins. At the same time, the alcoholic fermentation takes place. When the desired color is achieved, the solids are separated from the liquid contents of the tank. At this stage, the process is almost identical to that of white wine (the wine is simply allowed to ferment), with the exception of some red wines which require aging.

Aging consists of two phases: one takes place in oak barrels and the other takes place in the bottle. It has to do with the softening into delicious wine, minimizing the sour taste, enriching the wine with the aromatic components of the wood (bouquet) and stabilizing the color. The duration of aging is not subject to any rule, but depends on the variety, the year, the type and size of barrels used, etc. We must clarify here that aging is only applied when the wine requires it. That's because, as aging can improve some wines it may even destroy some others.

ROSE WINE
Previously, rosé wines were made by blending white and red wine, without of course  good quality results. Now a different methodology is routinely applied, which is a combination of red and white wine. The grape juice is sent (as in red) directly to the tank, it will stay there but a few hours just long enough for the color to seep out of the skins. When the winemaker considers that the grape has seeped enough color, (has been stained adequately) he separates the solids from the liquids and then places the now pink grape juice, to be fermented by the method of white wine.

METHODS OF WINE MAKING FOR THE PRODUCTION OF SWEET WINE

The Commandaria Method: The grapes are picked and placed carefully (so as not to bruise them) in a position where the sun shines on them continuously. They remain there between 7-10 days to dehydrate and become compact. The grapes are then selected, pressed to extract the juice and a procedure similar to that of white wine is followed. When the fermentation process reaches a point where there are the desired quantities of grape alcohol and sugars, it is abruptly interrupted by adding a specific quantity of alcohol. In the case of Commandaria, the aging of the wine in oak barrels is compulsory for at least two years.

Derivatives (secondary products of vinification): Besides the wine, there are a variety of secondary products of the grape, the wine itself or the ingredients left over from the winemaking.

A wine that was left in an open container will become vinegar. From the distillation of stalks, husks, etc. we derive, Zivania, or even alcohol if the distillation is repeated at least 3 times. From cooked, condensed grape juice we can make digestifs and dessert winess.

Cyprus has traditionally been "a land abundant in vines" for thousands of years now, and is trying to get back the place she rightfully deserves in the global wine map.   Let us together, each in his own capacity, make it a reality!
                        
Let us make a toast to "good wine!"

Wine Maintenance
The Correct Wine Glass
Temperature & Serving
Wine and Food Combinations
How we taste a wine
Grapes & Products
 
 
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